Day 10/Last Day – June 2015

Yesterday, the participants spent the day at the beach and upon their return, they were given an opportunity to reflect on all they learned in Stage 3. After, they participated in a closing session and then had an opportunity to share their talents with one another in a group talent show! Wow, you have some talented children!!!

We are sad to say goodbye to this amazing, smart, talented, and wise group of students. We have grown to love them dearly and have been so inspired to watch them “take the challenge” of CrossRoad. We do however look forward to returning them to you, their friends and family, spiritually refreshed, rejuvenated, and probably a little exhausted!

Day 9 – June 2015

Yesterday, after celebrating Divine Liturgy on campus, the CrossRoaders heard part two of Dr. Rossi’s talk. In the afternoon they were given an opportunity to serve their elderly neighbor, another neighbor that is often marginalized. The participants went to two different nursing homes and spent time talking and engaging in activities with the elderly. It brought the residents much joy to have so many loving visitors!

In the evening we enjoyed a special visit from Fr. Luke Veronis who gave a talk on his experiences serving as a missionary in Africa and Albania.

Day 8 – June 2015

Early Saturday morning, the participants woke up and went into Cambridge to break bread with the homeless. In small groups of one staff member with 3-4 students, the CrossRoaders approached people, bought them breakfast, and sat and ate with them, learning about their lives and getting to know them. It was an extremely moving experience for all. It is very profound to acknowledge Christ in the face of a neighbor that we often overlook.

After a nap-time, the participants engaged in the staff-led session, “Technology and Vocation”. In the evening, we had the blessing of hearing a talk on Prayer & Purity by our beloved Dr. Albert Rossi, who has been a CR guest speaker since the first program in 2004.

The participants have been busy learning how to take the information they have received over the past week and put it into action by serving Christ and neighbor!

Day 7 – June 2015

Yesterday the CrossRoaders had their last day of theology classes! They had some free time in the afternoon to play sports and games with each other and they also had a chance to call home and visit the Holy Cross Bookstore. In the evening the participants visited St. Mary’s Antiochian Church in Cambridge and listened to a talk by the parish priest.

Last evening was the end of Stage 2, “Vocation and Christ”. The participants were again given the chance to journal and reflect on all they learned during Stage 2. Many of the CrossRoaders got up in front of their peers and shared their reflections. We closed the night by preparing for Stage 3, “Vocation and Christ in the Face of the Other”. They were challenged to answer the question, “who is my neighbor” and explored what it means to serve our neighbor.

Day 6 – June 2015

Yesterday the participants engaged in their third day of theology and Scripture courses! They are learning so much and are asking many wonderful questions. The staff has been really impressed with their participation in discussion groups.

Last evening we ventured into Boston to visit Holy Resurrection Bulgarian Orthodox Church where we celebrated vespers and enjoyed a meal.

The CrossRoaders also participated in two interactive staff-led sessions today, one on Faith & Science and the other on Vocation & Suffering. So much good learning, and we are thankful to be together in this wonderful community.

Day 5 – June 2015

Yesterday, we had our second day of theology and scripture classes where Dr. Torrance spoke on the theology of the Holy Trinity and Dr. Legaspi explored the stories of David and Moses in the Old Testament. These lectures have sparked thoughtful and insightful questions and comments from the participants!

Following the lectures, we took our second adventure into downtown Boston where we had lunch and walked around Faneuil Hall, one of the oldest, most historic sites in the country!

Last evening concluded with a parish visit to Holy Dormition Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, MA and was followed by a very special staff-led session in the Holy Cross Chapel titled, “Night with the Saints.” In this session, the participants were divided into small groups to “meet” different Saints, venerate icons and relics in the Holy Cross Chapel, and learn what sainthood means. The takeaway of the evening was that every person has the opportunity and calling to be a Saint.

Day 4 – June 2015

Yesterday the participants had their first day of theology and scripture classes with Dr. Alexis Torrance (Archbishop Demetrios College Chair of Byzantine Theology and Assistant Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Notre Dame) and Dr. Michael Legaspi (Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University). Small staff-led break out discussion groups followed their theology and scripture lectures.

In the afternoon, we all went downtown and had a picnic on the Boston Common. We then took a tour at the Skywalk of the Prudential Center, the tallest building in Boston that offers a 360 degree view of the city.

Following our adventures in Boston, we visited Holy Trinity OCA Cathedral in Boston for dinner and vespers. The priest spoke to the participants about the life of St. John the Forerunner and the traditions of the OCA jurisdiction. In the evening, Mother Photini from All Saints Monastery in Long Island, spoke with the participants about vocation and monasticism.

It was a full day of fun, learning, and growing close as a group! Please let us know if you are finding these updates useful and if there is anything more you’d love to know or hear about!

Day 3 – June 2015

Yesterday morning after Orthros, the participants explored the magnitude and beauty of God’s creation through the interactive session, Sanctification of Creation. In the afternoon, we had an engaging interactive session on popular culture. After, we took a tour and heard a talk at St. Mark’s Coptic Church. Yesterday evening, Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou (International Relations at Tufts University) and Dr. Thomas Crea (Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College) offered an engaging session on Orthodoxy in the Public Square. Their session was based on a topic we explored at our Office of Vocation & Ministry 2015 Faith & Learning Symposium, “Understanding the Other.” If you want to get a sense for what Prodromou and Crea spoke about, audio from that full symposium can be found on our Down the Road CrossRoad Alumni Podcast series, found here.

Yesterday evening completed stage 1 of CrossRoad. All of the participants were invited to share their reflections on the first stage of CrossRoad, “Wrestling with Vocation.” It is very moving to hear how much they participants are learning already!

They are all really engaging with the content as well as growing close as a group. The laughter in the cafeteria and on the bus is such a joyful sound to hear! Please continue to keep us all in your prayers.